We started our day in the pink city by visiting the Hawa Mahal. Known as the ‘Palace of the Winds’ it is a large ornate facade made from pink and red sandstone. It was created in 1799 to allow royal women to watch the street festivals below but remain unseen by the public.
Next we visited Radha Govind Mandir, a local Hindu temple near the City Palace. The atmosphere was amazing with so many people singing their morning prayers and aarti. Outside there were vendors selling fresh flowers and other puja items.
One of my highlights was seeing Jantar Mantar. It has the largest sundial in the world and is an observatory built in the 1700s. The complex instruments allow the measurement of time (accurate to 2 seconds) using the sun, and were used to map the star constellations.
Various instruments were used to determine people’s star sign (based on time and date of birth) and to calculate the movement of the planets. The structures are huge and built from local stone and marble with incredible accuracy.
We also visited a local arts and crafts cooperative and watched a block printing demonstration. Jaipur is a big centre for handmade crafts so it was really interesting to see the different methods used across fabrics, jewellery, stone carving and wood carving. Of course we couldn’t resist the temptation to do some shopping while we were there!!